As UWM celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Peck School of the Arts and the Year of the Arts, two Peck School alumni have been selected as the UWM Foundation Alumni Fellows for 2013.
Henry Godinez (’84 MFA Professional Theatre Training Program) is an associate professor in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University and the resident artistic associate at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, where he is the director of the Latino Theatre Festival. Kevin Stalheim (’81 MM-Conducting) is the founder and artistic director of Present Music in Milwaukee.
Alumni Fellow is a lifelong designation that recognizes prominent and outstanding alumni who demonstrate leadership and accomplishment in their professional fields and personal lives. The Alumni Fellow program brings honorees back to campus to share their knowledge, insight and stories with students, faculty, staff and members of the community.
Campus visits by the Alumni Fellows are slated April 4-5 for Stalheim and April 18-19 for Godinez. A joint awards reception honors both 2013 Alumni Fellows on Thursday, April 18, at Inova/Kenilworth, 2155 N. Prospect Ave. Chancellor Michael R. Lovell and other dignitaries will attend.
Milton Coleman, senior editor of the Washington Post, received the first Alumni Fellow award in February 2012.
“The three years I spent in graduate school at UWM were arguably the most intense and transformative of my educational career,” says Henry Godinez. “They literally reshaped me as a theater artist and as a human being. Beyond the many specific skills I developed through graduate training at UWM, I also credit the discipline and determination it instilled in me, for the self-motivation and sense of purpose necessary for a career in the arts.”
Godinez is recognized as a leader in Chicago Latino theater. Most recently, he has fostered an unprecedented collaboration at the Goodman Theatre with Teatro Buendia of Cuba – co-production of the “Pedro Paramo” premiere at the Goodman during March 2013.
Godinez has numerous directing credits at the Goodman Theatre and other Chicago-area theater companies. He is the co-founder and former artistic director of Teatro Vista (Theatre with a View), which stages Latino-oriented works that often challenge both cast and audience. Godinez also has directed at Portland Center Stage, Signature Theatre Company in NYC, Kansas City Repertory Theatre and Colorado Shakespeare Festival.
As an actor, Godinez has been seen at Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, The Kennedy Center and on TV and in films, including “The Fugitive,” “Above the Law,” “The Beast,” “Boss,” and “Chicago Fire.”
He is the recipient of the 1999 TCG Alan Schneider Directing Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the Lawyers for the Creative Arts and the 2008 Chicago Latino Network’s Latino Professional of the Year. In 2010, he was appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn to the Illinois Arts Council, where he serves on the Executive Committee.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Godinez serves on the Editorial Board of the Northwestern University Press and the Board of Directors of Albany Park Theatre Project.
In addition to his master’s degree from UWM, Godinez earned a BA in Theatre from the University of Dallas in 1980.
“My time at UWM provided the fertile ground and valuable experience necessary to form an organization like Present Music,” says Kevin Stalheim. “As a conducting major, I was able to use a deep pool of talented musicians from the city and the university to mount ad hoc concerts that helped steer me toward possibilities I never imagined. Several excellent instructors encouraged my natural inclination toward adventure and going beyond just meeting the requirements.
“I’m very pleased that my relationship with UWM has grown very strong over the past few years. Collaborations with the dance, art and music faculty and students have been extremely fruitful and point to an exciting future.”
Committed to commissioning new music and supporting residencies, Stalheim has worked closely and extensively with many of the most important composers of our time. Through his considerable efforts, Present Music – currently celebrating 31 years – is now regarded as one of the foremost national organizations in the development and presentation of new music. Present Music is known for having one of the largest audiences for new music in the country; the opening concert of its 30th season attracted more than 2,000 people.
Among Stalheim’s accolades and honors are UWM’s 2011 Distinguished Alumnus in the Field of Music and Education Award, City of Milwaukee Arts Board’s 2002 Artist of the Year award, the Civic Music Association’s 2001 Distinguished Citizen award and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s nod as 1989 Musician of the Year.
In addition to serving as Present Music’s artistic director, Stalheim has participated on funding panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Aaron Copland Fund, Meet the Composer (now New Music USA), Chamber Music America and the American Composer’s Forum.
In 2000, Stalheim instituted the Creation Project, a 10-week residency that teaches students in grades K-12 to compose and perform their own original works under the guidance of a composer-in-residence.
Present Music remains at the forefront of new music in the United States, a testament to Stalheim’s dedication to commissioning, recording projects, touring engagements, and educational programming and youth concerts in schools and community centers.
In addition to his master’s degree from UWM, Stalheim earned a BM in Music from Oberlin Conservatory in 1976.